Gardeners of AW, unite

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ElaineB

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We have them in Mass. now, though haven't seen them in my yard yet. Only a matter of time. Ugh. A local nursery got them in a load of compost. She is working with UMass to study them. Showed us how to clean a plant (I don't ever want to have to do that). Could ruin her business, but she stoically cleaned and repotted some 10,000 plugs and pots.
 

Woollybear

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I realized it's helpful to me, each year, to know when I planted things last year.

I planted carrots two days ago. We'll see. I planted broccoli also. And some corn, today. It's a funny time of year, too late for some crops and too early for others.

The latest plantings of pumpkins and beans, which I think was mid-late June, are going gangbusters. Hurray! I'm holding my breath hoping I get more pumpkins, because with days getting shorter I expect this all to fail in the end. Starting to think about planting peas. Must be patient.

We've been eating beet greens and carrots (from the previous planting). We have a flock of finches that eat the broccoli seed-pods, from the one springtime broccoli plant that I allowed to go to seed. I'm sharing with the finches for now, but if they get too greedy I'll bag up the seed heads.

The gallon tomato plants I put in when the sweet corn came out (very early July) are growing and setting fruit. That was another 'feels late but I'll try it' experiment.

Good luck with those nasty sounding worms--Blech! Invasive species!
 
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Woollybear

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We use it in pumpkin ziti as well. I actually cubed some roasted pumpkin and added to a stir fry, just a bit, and I think it added a nice texture and sweetness.

I suppose if we had too much pumpkin I'd start making pumpkin bread as well. We often freeze the roasted flesh. :)
 

Brigid Barry

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Even though I don't quite trust the pressure canner yet, leaving things in the freezer has me leery. A lot can go wrong as far as quality even if it's safe.

Speaking of the pressure canner, my broths haven't popped so I assume that's good?

Meanwhile, one of the kids called me in a panic today that she saw weasels in the yard. I am really, really hoping it was the rats because I don't think I can deal with weasels destroying my flock for the fun of it. Aside from the supposed sighting, there hasn't been any signs of them.
 

Friendly Frog

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I actually have potatoes to harvest!

After last year's paltry offerings I now actually have enough potatoes to make a meal for the three of us. Sure, there are some tiny ones, and they never managed to fill more than half of the growing pot before the green died back. But there are few as big as the seed potato.
Awesome! Fresh potatoes with butter and seasalt, hmmmmm.

One meal, though. So glad I'm not dependant for food on what I manage to grow. šŸ˜
 

Brigid Barry

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Those tiny ones go for big bucks at the grocery store, New Potatoes. They're pricey enough here that my grocery store sells them in an odd sized bag (7 or 9 ounces or something random) for $Price vs the big ones that are just $Price/lb.
 
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Alessandra Kelley

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Surely not the tiny ones I have that are barely as big as a marble?
Oh yes! They'll call them "confetti potatoes" or "baby fingerlings" or "gemstone potatoes" or "marble potatoes" and sell them in little 24-ounce bags (about 0.7 kilos) for $3-5.
 

mrsmig

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Speaking of the pressure canner, my broths haven't popped so I assume that's good?

If you mean the lids are still concave (and won't flex when you press on them), then yes, that's good. It means the seal is intact.

I ordered another half-dozen freezer containers for tomato sauce (my farmers market had seconds at a good price), but I've since filled those and am now out of freezer space. I got out my old water-bath canning supplies and experimented with canning a small yield from my own garden. I was careful to review the updated USDA canning "rules" before I did so - they recommend adding bottled lemon juice to the sauce (to increase the acidity, I guess), and no longer recommend boiling your lids because the material now used as a sealant could spread and become ineffective at holding a seal. Just wash them along with the jars and rings. I got two pints of sauce and a pint of juice and so far, the seals look good. If there are still seconds available at the farmers market Wednesday, I may do one more big batch of canned sauce.

I've been enjoying tomato sandwiches for lunch, since my big slicing tomatoes are producing well. Harvested a grow bag of yellow potatoes - they are small but nice-looking - and planted another bag of Yukon Golds as a fall-harvest experiment. I'm waiting until the green part of my red potatoes dies back a bit more before I harvest them. Still getting a handful of beans every couple of days, and my California Wonder bell peppers are finally turning red. The cukes and squash have been very slow to fruit this year; I've about decided not to plant squash any more since my husband doesn't like them and it's really more sensible for me to buy the few I eat. That will free up more garden space for other things. My garlic is cured, trimmed and stored, and I've ordered next year's variety: Georgian Crystal, which will ship in a month or so.

I potted up four each of my broccoli and cabbage seedlings and have them under grow lights until it's time to move them out to the garden. I'll be planting turnips, carrots and dill in the coming weeks, with crossed fingers for a fall harvest. Also plan on getting some spinach and other greens going by September. I've got the seeds and the soil, so why not?
 

Brigid Barry

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Probably not the right place for this, but I don't know where else I'd put it.

I've had chickens since 2015, and until last year, I never had an issue with rats. Then last year I had a BIG problem with rats. They helped me out by drowning themselves in water buckets, so I left some of those half full laying around. I got some non-toxic rat poison (it does something to their stomachs and they die and there's no secondary or tertiary toxicity) and they ate it at first and now not only will they not touch that, they also won't touch the chicken feed that I mixed it with. I have an electric trap that's caught a few of them here and there (two at once on one occasion), but it can't be left outside. The dog LOVES hunting them, but she's limited in where she can go and can obviously only catch one at a time. We cleaned up the yard to get rid of their hiding spots, but there's only so much we can do when they're burrowing into the gardens and under buildings.

Now I have weasels, attracted to the rats. If it was just the rats, I'd be fine with it. Unfortunately, I have chickens. The weasels haven't bothered them yet, but the important word is "yet". Weasels are bad news and will kill for fun, not just for food. I don't want to go outside one day and my flock is all scalped or decapitated dead. The logistical and financial nightmare of covering their entire run with hardware cloth is more than I can handle, but they're secure in their coop at night (less a hole for a cord that I am going to cover tonight).

Does anyone have any success stories of having weasels and NOT losing their chickens? I already know the worst, I need to know if there's a better than bad outcome.
 
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mrsmig

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Given that we have members who raise chickens and other poultry (hello, @Unimportant and @mccardey ), I'm a bit surprised there isn't a thread on the topic in the Animals & Nature subforum (which, although it's under the main forum heading Writing Genre, isn't much about writing). Maybe you should start one there?
 

SWest

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We used to have a thread or two...but they seem inactive.

chickenforum.com is still active, but weasels are a nemesis to be reckoned with.

@AZ_Dawn used to keep chickens.

Hands On would be the other sub-forum to find fanciers...
 

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I'll delete or divide or whatever when that happens. :)

We had ground squirrels at the community garden years ago (hundreds of ground squirrels and they are quite rude by eating one bite of almost ripe tomato and throwing it on the ground to try the next one). The best luck we had to get them to eat the non-toxic poison was to mix it with peanut butter.

I have not had weasels and know nothing about them.

Garden wise, we made more pesto last night. Then a pizza. Yum!

Also, the broccoli is sprouting and so is the corn, day eight post-planting. The carrots have not sprouted. The pumpkin vines are growing 4-6 inches each day. Not as fast as the earlier planting, when in early June they were growing 10 inches each day, but still impressive to me.

But for rodents, we used Rodetrol (a corn based product) and mixed it with peanut butter as bait. I've heard you can also use plaster of paris.
 
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Woollybear

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I don't know if it's normal, but my sugar babies usually set two apiece and then they're done. The leaves do tend to die, I guess the plant figures it has met its life goal with all those seeds, and at this time of year the mold and mildew are taking over anyway.
 

Alessandra Kelley

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Given that we have members who raise chickens and other poultry (hello, @Unimportant and @mccardey ), I'm a bit surprised there isn't a thread on the topic in the Animals & Nature subforum (which, although it's under the main forum heading Writing Genre, isn't much about writing). Maybe you should start one there?
As one of the moderators of that forum, I approve of this suggestion.
 

Brigid Barry

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There is a technical difficulty, but there will be a thread for chickens.

My hen hatched out four chicks from my leghorn rooster: a gorgeous buff orpington cross pullet, a Deleware cross rooster, and two australorp cross pullets. A friend of mine wanted the rooster, and I am in love with the buff orpington pullet. The fucking weasel went into the run this morning and killed the rooster and my golden pullet. I'm sitting at work trying to not cry.

I am going to collect materials to make weasel boxes. I'd rather have the rats, they at least leave the chickens alone.

Unfortunately this means taking the weed whacker out and mowing down the yard. The weasels like the cover provided so I have to get rid of it. I'll let the milkweeds stay, but until my flock dies out I can't let it grow.

Update: Kid1 got "one of" the weasels.
 
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Unimportant

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Does anyone have any success stories of having weasels and NOT losing their chickens? I already know the worst, I need to know if there's a better than bad outcome.
Sadly no. Several years ago we lost our best, favourite, most wonderful hen to a stoat. (And we then had to hand rear her thirteen chicks.) I bloody hate everything in the weasel family, unless its fur is draped around my neck.

We got ourselves a couple of these traps for the barn/shed, and they seem to be effective. Humane, instantaneous, bird/cat-proof, and no poison at all.
 

Brigid Barry

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Legally I'm allowed to kill them because they're being a nuisance. Supposedly I'm supposed to report it to the game warden. I will do 50% of those things.

My trainer has one of those traps for rats and has, to date, caught one rat. I'm making these: https://www.hobbyfarms.com/build-diy-weasel-box-keep-hens-safe/

Of course it's 103F outside...